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May Book Club: "Marco Polo Didn't Go There" by Rolf Potts

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Full datetime event: 

New York — Wednesday, May 5, 2021From 6:00 pm to 7:00 pmLos Angeles — Wednesday, May 5, 2021From 3:00 pm to 4:00 pmLondon —
StartWednesday, May 5, 2021 11:00 pm
EndThursday, May 6, 2021 12:00 am
Athens — Thursday, May 6, 2021From 1:00 am to 2:00 amSingapore — Thursday, May 6, 2021From 6:00 am to 7:00 amSydney — Thursday, May 6, 2021From 8:00 am to 9:00 am


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Rolf Potts is one of the most famous modern travel writers out there. He burst onto the scene with his book Vagabonding, a must-read for first-time travelers. He's the godfather of modern backpacking.

His book was a huge inspiration to me when I started planning my trip - and I know it has been to many of you.

But Rolf is a prolific storyteller and his philosophy on travel is no better seen in his book "Marco Polo Didn't Go There," which is a great collection of travel stories.

That's why it's this month's book club selection!

Rolf is a great guy who is very kind and knowledgeable. We were lucky to have him as the closing keynote speaker at our first TravelCon event and we're super excited to have him talk about his book at our May book club event!

Pick up a copy of his book and join us as we talk to Rolf about his book and travel in general. We'll be giving away copies of his other books and you'll be able to ask him plenty of questions!

  • Nomadic Matt

If you haven't read this book yet, don't worry, you can get it here (https://bookshop.org/a/12235/9781932361612 or here https://amzn.to/3gKWTcm). If possible, try to use Bookshop as sales there go to support local and independent bookstores. It's our preferred online retailer.

"Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer (Travelers' Tales Guides)"

"Marco Polo Didn’t Go There" is a collection of rollicking travel tales from a young writer USA Today has called "Jack Kerouac for the Internet Age." For the past ten years, Rolf Potts has taken his keen postmodern travel sensibility into the far fringes of five continents for such prestigious publications as National Geographic Traveler, Salon.com, and The New York Times Magazine. This book documents his boldest, funniest, and most revealing journeys—from getting stranded without water in the Libyan desert, to crashing the set of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie in Thailand, to learning the secrets of Tantric sex in a dubious Indian ashram.

"Marco Polo Didn’t Go There" is more than just an entertaining journey into fascinating corners of the world. The book is a unique window into travel writing, with each chapter containing a "commentary track"—endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale. Offbeat and insightful, this book is an engrossing read for students of travel writing as well as armchair wanderers.

His collection of literary travel essays, "Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations From One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer," won a 2009 Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers, and became the first American-authored book to win Italy’s prestigious Chatwin Prize for travel writing.

Rolf Potts has reported from more than sixty countries for the likes of National Geographic Traveler, The New Yorker, Slate.com, Outside, the New York Times Magazine, The Believer, The Guardian (U.K.), Sports Illustrated, National Public Radio, and the Travel Channel. His adventures have taken him across six continents, and include piloting a fishing boat 900 miles down the Laotian Mekong, hitchhiking across Eastern Europe, traversing Israel on foot, bicycling across Burma, driving a Land Rover across South America, and traveling around the world for six weeks with no luggage or bags of any kind.

Potts is perhaps best known for promoting the ethic of independent travel, and his book on the subject, "Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel," has been through thirty-two printings and translated into several foreign languages.

He has lectured at venues around the world, including New York University, the University of Lugano, the University of Melbourne, Authors@Google, and the World Affairs Council. He has taught semester-long nonfiction writing courses at Penn and Yale.

Though he rarely stays in one place for long, Potts has, over the years, felt somewhat at home in places like Bangkok, Cairo, Pusan, New Orleans, New York, and Paris, where he runs a series of creative writing classes each summer. He is based in north-central Kansas, where he keeps a small farmhouse on 30 acres with his wife, Kansas-born actress Kristen Bush.

Connect with Rolf:
— Website: https://rolfpotts.com
— Twitter: http://twitter.com/rolfpotts
— Instagram: http://instagram.com/rolfpotts

HELP SUPPORT THE NOMADIC NETWORK: If you’d like to support our community, please check out Nomadic Matt Plus (https://members.nomadicmatt.com/) where you can get untold travel stories, photos, weekly Q&As, free guides, courses, and more as part of your monthly membership. Thanks!

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